By Tendai Munengwa
Cotton farmers are smiling all the way back home as they receive cash in United States dollars and part of their local currency on delivery at Cotton Company of Zimbabwe Depots country.
The arrangement came into effect at the onset of the 2022 cotton marketing season which commenced on Monday last.
“We are very happy that with the new payment model. We are getting our proceeds right away,” said a farmer after selling his cotton in Gokwe.
“We are excited that we are given cash in United States dollars and Zimbabwe dollars. This will enable us to plan and budget for our families, we thank the Cottco for the payment model on delivery,” another farmer said.
Cotton Company of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Pious Manamike assured all farmers that cash is available to pay them on delivery.
“We have made an arrangement to pay farmers in cash this time around. Every is getting US$60 per bale and the remainder 6 500 Zimbabwe dollars per bale.”
Some farmers who were contemplating to shun growing cotton owing to delays on payment are now optimistic to increase hectarage.
The country is expecting plus or minus 100 million kilogrammes of the white gold this season compared to 120 million kilogrammes of last year.
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe is the arm mandated to distribute inputs and buy cotton under the presidential inputs scheme.
The free inputs scheme was launched in 2015 by government to revive the cotton industry which has nosedived with the bulk of farmers divorcing growing the crop owing to delays in payment.
The launch of the presidential scheme has revitalised cotton production from 10 million to 100 million kilogrammes, with expectations high that the payment of farmers in cash will boost production back to national target of 250 million by 2025.